Research Handbook on Street-Level Bureaucracy
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Research Handbook on Street-Level Bureaucracy

The Ground Floor of Government in Context

Edited by Peter Hupe

When the objectives of public policy programmes have been formulated and decided upon, implementation seems just a matter of following instructions. However, it is underway to the realization of those objectives that public policies get their final substance and form. Crucial is what happens in and around the encounter between public officials and individual citizens at the street level of government bureaucracy. This Research Handbook addresses the state of the art while providing a systematic exploration of the theoretical and methodological issues apparent in the study of street-level bureaucracy and how to deal with them.
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Chapter 27: Street-level bureaucracy research and the assessment of ethical conduct

Helena Olofsdotter Stensöta


Using analytical frameworks of public ethics when empirically analysing street-level bureaucrats and street-level bureaucracy provides an empirically informed ground to discuss street-level bureaucrats’ decisions, dispositions and reasonings behind actions. While there is a growing discussion on ethics in public administration in general, it seldom includes the ‘street level’. The chapter discusses the need for ethics as an analytical framework in the analysis of street-level work and presents two empirically derived frameworks that can be used for this endeavour, thereby conceptualizing the public ethics of care (PEC) – both quantitative and qualitative analyses are used for elaborating on the concept PEC.

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